A Quick Beginner’s Guide to Wedding Photography

Chances are, if you have a DSLR camera, it’s only a matter of time until your relatives start asking you to photograph their wedding, so be sure to follow this guide and you’ll be well on your way to taking some great photographs to make any wedding memorable.

1. Be honest with the couple about your experience and capabilities
Shooting a wedding is delicate work and is perhaps one of the toughest assignments for a photographer. Ideally, you should have two decent cameras, a handful of lenses to choose from, and a couple of flashguns, as well as the absolute confidence that you know about your equipment both inside and out.

A safer option is to take on the duty of the secondary photographer. Be sure to study the expert/s closely and take shots from different angles, as well as some background shots here and there. Not only will you get paid, but you’ll also gain valuable experience from it.

2. Make a “Shot List” and stick to it
Get the couple to think ahead about the shots that they want you to take the next day so you can compile a list that they can check off once the ceremony and reception are over. Be sure to review this list and keep it in mind to make sure everyone is included in the pictures.

3. Eyes on the bride
One of the most important highlights of the wedding will always be the bride’s wedding gown, so be sure to use an exposure that allows you to get consistent details and avoid turning the bride into a uniform white mass.

This is where digital cameras have an edge over traditional film cameras (fortunately, you have the former), which means you can use auto-exposure breaking facility or adjust the histogram view to take a series of shots and choose the one with the right exposure.

4. Prepare for anything (and everything)
Anything can go wrong at any time in any place, so be sure to always have a backup plan. Scout the location. Look at the weather forecast. Charge your batteries (yes, always have more than one!). Think routes and the time it takes to get from one place to another. And more importantly, ask for the wedding itinerary.

It’s also a good idea to attend rehearsals so you’ll know in advance about things such as lighting, possible angles, and the order of the ceremony.